The Irish Ambivalence In 19th Century Canada

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Introduction Throughout the 20th century, the Irish-Canadian community has been foundational to the evolution of Canada's national identity, whether it was with the leadership of Baie-Comeau's Brian Mulroney, whose historical legacy includes NAFTA or the Shamrock summit, or the ineradicable impact of the music groups from Eastern Canada on the country's cultural sphere. Despite having such a mark upon the country's growth, the cohabitation between Irish and Canadian populations was also one of struggle. This paper will explore some of the pivotal historical events, between the Irish and Canadian populations, in the 19th century. History To understand what caused the discord on Canadian soil, we must first explore the political and cultural situation in Ireland. The Irish struggled under the oppression of absentee English landowners. It could easily be assumed that the English absentee landholders had an absolutist and almost monarchic control over their Irish “employees”. Furthermore, the Irish were seen by the English, as marginal members of the peasantry. During the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell said that “I am persuaded that this is a righteous judgment of God upon these barbarous wretches (...)”1, while his troops killed almost 3500 Irish people. That message could easily show the bitterness of the relation between both populations. Cromwell hated the Irish and sent his army, to pressure Irish populations into obeisance. He also separated children from their families, hoping that such a move would result in a population decrease. A famine also erupted in the Emerald Isle, in 1849, which caused a massive exodus. In his book The Irish in Canada, David A. Wilson said, when talking about the Famine, that it was “a s... ... middle of paper ... ...y of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1993, 265 pages. Winder, Gordon, Trouble in the North End: The Geography of Social Violence in Saint John, Acadiensis, University of New Brunswick, Volume 29, 2000, 30 pages. Slattery, T.P., The Assassination of D'Arcy McGee, Doubleday, Toronto, 1968, 527 pages. Bibliography See, Scott, Mickeys and Demons vs. Bigots and Boobies: The Woodstock riot of 1847, Acadiensis, University of New Brunswick, Autumn 1991, Volume 21, Issue 1. 20 pages. _________, Riots in New Brunswick: Orange Nativisim and Social Violence in the 1840s, University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1993, 265 pages. Winder, Gordon, Trouble in the North End: The Geography of Social Violence in Saint John, Acadiensis, University of New Brunswick, Volume 29, 2000, 30 pages. Slattery, T.P., The Assassination of D'Arcy McGee, Doubleday, Toronto, 1968, 527 pages.

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